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The Leftovers – S2E6 – Lens

Previously on The Leftovers, ‘No Room at the Inn’

Images: HBO

Nora is now responsible for Mary in addition to the family she and Kevin have created together. Erika is trying to learn how to live without Evie. The DSD is in town and Erika is being pressed to answer the questionnaire designed to prove Evie’s disappearance was an official Departure. Two researchers are harassing Nora in an attempt to prove their Lens theory because they believe she is responsible for all of the Departures that have happened around her. Laurie calls looking for Tom. The men in their lives are no help – John is busy beating the town’s “sinners” and Kevin is wrapped up with Patti. Both women are visibly exhausted and emotionally strained.

Both are reaching their breaking points.

Everything comes to a head at an event to raise funds for the search for Evie and her friends. Jerry comes in prepared to make a goat sacrifice and Erika finally lets loose. She calls out every superstition the town has been relying on before storming out. Nora joins her at the house and reveals she has stolen a copy of the DSD’s new questionnaire. She offers to put Erika’s fears to rest by going over the questions with her.

Considering both women have lost children, the questions could have been a chance to form a friendship around their mutual grief. Instead, Erika shares that she had planned to leave John before Evie departed. She explains that her grandmother had taught her the town was magical and that a wish could be granted by burying a bird in a box. If the bird was alive, the wish would come true. Erika had wished for her children to be okay when she left and that night, Evie disappeared. She blames herself for Evie’s Departure. Nora responds by attacking Erika’s guilt and Erika calls Nora on her hypocrisy.

Both women are in tears when Nora returns home, but her day is not over yet. Despite her apparent grief and exhaustion, Kevin decides the secret of Patti must be revealed.

Seriously, how much can one woman handle?

Leave your thoughts on the episode below and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.

The Leftovers S2E6
  • 10/10
    Plot – 10/10
  • 10/10
    Dialogue – 10/10
  • 10/10
    Performances – 10/10


Another perfect episode. It was wonderful to get answers to some of the town’s superstitions and it is impressive how the show is able to unfold these mysteries in such a natural way. This show continues to deliver such strong performances and it was impossible not to feel so much pain for both Erika and Nora as they tried to maintain control in their chaotic surroundings.

User Review
5 (3 votes)

About Teri Bildstein (45 Articles)
Teri Bildstein firmly believes sleep is for the weak. She avoids this nasty pitfall by juggling her time between family, duties as Owner/Designer of Tide Together Jewelry and Gifts, ProFan contributor, and sharing her inexhaustible opinions with the people of the Internet. She is certain her marriage to Norman Reedus will be a lovely affair….provided she has a chance to meet him.

11 Comments on The Leftovers – S2E6 – Lens

  1. This show kills me. I might literally die from this show. I didn’t fully take in or process the big scene between Nora and Erika the first time I watched. I was already so hyped from Erika’s scene at the fundraiser and then this shit! There’s only so much TV excellence one woman can take.

    A few minutes into their conversation, I was so overwhelmed by the acting and the dialogue and the direction, I think I might have departed. My soul may have literally left my body for a solid five minutes before returning just in time to be terrified by Erika returning that rock to Nora via special delivery.

    Because they’re so strong and so alike in some ways, I think I lowkey wanted Erika and Nora to become friends. But the writers are so much smarter than me. Having them basically turn on each other because they see themselves so clearly in one another was amazing and gut-wrenching. I mean, they’re out there busting each other’s windows. That’s hard core. Though Erika would like me to point out that Nora fucking started it.

    Now that I’ve re-watched that scene between them a few times, I have so many feelings about it, I might need to start keeping a Leftovers journal just to work it all out.

    Initially, I sort of brushed off the whole issue of Lily being left on the hood of the truck to bake for like an hour and everyone’s nonchalant reactions to it because so many things happened in the episode. But when Kevin was the one who brought that around at the end during his whole HEY, GUESS WHAT I’M OBVIOUSLY LOSING MY MIND HERE speech, I was glad to have it addressed. I mean, I’m not a parent and I’m sure kids get sort of left in situations like that for very brief periods of time, but still.

    Is it possible that Kevin’s the sanest grown-up on this show? Because that’s messed up.

    Anway, I think this might be the most I’ve been moved by an episode of television since the Ozymandias episode of Breaking Bad and that’s saying something. I feel like I should apologize for this going so long but I could write a book so I feel like you got off pretty easy (on the other hand, I’m sorry for going on for so long).

  2. Hey girl! FOR THE PODCAST:

    I think this maybe the very first episode where we get explanations to things we thought we would never get answers to! The goat, the wedding dress, the pie, all answered! I’m not going to get used to it though.

    So glad Kevin finally told Nora about Patti. I laughed when he started off with “I’ve been seeing someone” then repeated it! REWORD THAT, KEVIN! But Kevin’s despair in this scene was so palpable!

    Nora and Erika’s scene was filled with so much pain and shade. They’re going for ALL the awards. And I hope they get them too. I’m still not sure why Nora threw that rock through their window, but I bet Erika clapped back!!

    Nora is so damn trill. I wonder what the repercussions will be when dude realizes his questionnaire is gone.

    Laurie, don’t worry about Holy Tommy. He’s at my house. Hugging me. ?

    I’m ready for the podcast!! Love you guys.


    As much as we praise Joe West for his black fatherhood moments, Regina King’s black motherhood scenes were on point!!!

    Man, when Regina was biting the corner of her lip after she heard “Pathetic
    “….that was a black mama tick. I’ve seen that before. That meant she was 2 seconds away from jumping in her ass.

    But then you see that slight moment of calmness, that straight face and you knew, she was about to snatch her whole soul with a couple of words. And she read the fuck out of her. Made that ass cry and leave. And just when you think it’s over, “BAM” a rock through the window, because were not dismissed properly.

    And that kids is how you become a cracker eating bitch.(Nora)
    Black mamas for the win!

    Love you guys and the podcast. Ready for the Patti showdown next week

  4. Hands down best episode of the season so far!!! Loved every gotdamn minute of it. Black Acting Black Acting Black Acting!!!


    There’s so much to unpack in this episode let me start with Nora:

    I love this woman but she was almost insufferable this episode. On first viewing I was like what the fuck when she Whitey Forded that rock through the Murphy’s window. I thought she caught that cray sleepwalking bug from Kevin but on re-watch I think that she was triggered by that douchebag Rico Suave looking motherfucker telling her her story like he read her memoir. It was just another reminder that despite her attempts to make Jarden her safe haven from her traumatic loss she still isn’t safe and she just took that anger out… on a Black family’s house in rural Texas but we not going to go there! Her confrontation with Erika was just her trying to appease her own fears. I can’t wait to see both of these women have more scenes together in the future. But I did feel for her when she took that phone call and that woman started talking about the demon from ‘Fallen’ I was like Bitch BYE!!!Between Nora, Loretta, and Emily I was like #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen but #NotAllWhiteWomen tho!


    Every scene she was in I swear I was so focused. It must be so hard to be in her situation now. She was about to leave Jon on his birthday (Coldblooded) but now, not only does she have to deal with the tragedy of the disappearance of her daughter, she is still stuck pretending in this marriage that at least on her end is over.

    So Jon gets out of prison and becomes a volunteer firefighter. He still has some kind of respectful standing in the community but he probably does not have a steady job. Compounded by the fact that he spends most of his time squading up and going around beating up people whom he feels are “selling lies,” and Erika is stuck having to patch his victims likely for free and risking her own reputation as a doctor. So she bided her time and stacked enough paper to leave, but poof! She has to be blaming herself for Evie’s disappearance and she continues the sad ritual of burying birds only to find they are dead and her wish to have Evie back isn’t granted.

    What do you think Virgil did and what is his relation to Erika? I’m thinking Uncle Touch

    Lets talk about the best scene of the night: “Jerry if you don’t get the fuck up out of here!!!” I was like I swear to God if that nigga slaughter a damn goat up in here… Erika’s speech had me welling up with real tears y’all! It was everything! I felt every bit of that pain and frustration. By the time Nora came over on that bad ally shit Erika was over it, hell judging by the look on her face I was half expecting it was going to be a fight. Erika’s confession was heartbreaking and I’m glad she read Nora for filth too! I really want her to get her life back, she is bae. And if Nora is Whitey Ford then Erika is Satchel Paige on that ass!

    Poor bewildered Kevin. His eyebrows earned all the paychecks the other night. Looking perplexed at Nora spending more of HER money and looking bemused at her steal that nosey ass questionnaire. I know No chill Patti was over his shoulder the whole time just shaking her head saying “Emasculating!” But can she give my dude a break, he can’t get no morning sex, she got him forgetting the baby (WHAT FUCK KEVIN?!) and then judging his DIY skills. Poor boy.

    Matt went full native but he still worried about the wrong fucking thing.

    Where’s Tommy?! Lori seems to have a inkling that he’s in Texas or on his way to Texas, I’m thinking this is how the two storylines will converge. Holy Tommy is in the hippie camp trapping off hugs getting lost in the sauce!

    Closing Thought: I have a theory about Evie and the girls but I won’t go into details but I said it in the group. Suffice to say I don’t think they departed I think they disappeared themselves and made it look a departure. Like Nora said they had the greatest scapegoat in the history of the world. Also the gift they’ve been teasing is the cricket or a goodbye note from Evie to Jon saying not worry about her.

    This fucking show!

    Love you guys take care!


    I probably missed the chance to spit hot fiyah so I’ll be short. I love Regina King with her black acting!!! And Carrie Coon. This whole show has me crying at the end and gives me a feeling that I cannot explain. I am hoping this show gets the emmy’s they deserve. When Regina turned those questions back on Nora? I burst into tears.


    My heads fucking swimming as I just finished the show and I’m gonna try to relay my thoughts as succinctly as I possibly can ?!!

    1. Nora!! I love her so much but, let’s be real.throwing that brick through that colored families home is not a good look!! I checked out for a minute and was like damn she on probation at least the rest of the season or at least until the colored folks of the pf crew have throughly reviewed her file and come to a unanimous decision that she can proceed to still be fucked with!! Also was she asking Jill if the black people approved of their son dating a ❄️??

    2. Speaking of colored folks!! Regina King was gon leave tiger tooth!!!! Yaaaaassss, that was great!! You can’t trust that two toned teeth having summmabitch!!!! Get get gone boo!! But also are we to believe that the magical negro number 2 is her pops and is responsible for her losing her hearing?!?! Also I did let out a chuckle when that lil white boy tried to out run that Nubian goddess!! I was like cmon buddy resistance is futile!!! But it didn’t stop there, she even further proved she’s the ? by saving the billy ? gruff at the charity benefit !! #goatslivesmatter

    That’s all I got can’t wait to hear the podcast!! Glad to see Matt was able to find something to cover his dick that could’ve been dangerous!!!

  7. FOR THE PODCAST: I’ve NEVER been mesmerized by Regina King but holy hell that woman BROUGHT IT! She brought it so much Carrie Coon forgot her lines and ran home crying! I don’t have much to add because I’m still in awe over the acting in this show.


    Man, this show. It is such a pleasure to watch something every week that is beautifully written, acted, and filmed.

    The main achievement of this season is that it has managed to become the best show on TV while not having an actual plot. It’s just an intense and deep exploration of the human experience and all the bullshit that comes along with trying to make sense of a life that none of us asked for. Just like there is no manual for life, there also is no manual for watching this show. If you try to explain the plot to someone who had never seen it and wanted to, you’re better off just going with “Just watch it” because you’re going to sound like a crazy person otherwise.

    I appreciate the hell out of HBO for allowing this show to exist, and the writers and actors involved for making me give a shit that it does, because it is an experience.

    This doesn’t have to be read on the podcast, but Alan Sepinwall had a great take on the Nora/Erika confrontation:

    “The Murphys and Garveys have already been set in parallel (though as a doctor, Erika matches up more with Laurie than Nora), and here the parallels between the two next door neighbors only grow deeper. But rather than bond over their shared misfortune, the recognition of it only pushes them further apart, because who would want to be around someone who confirms all the worst assumptions you have about yourself? Their confrontation after the fundraiser was a spectacular acting duet between Regina King and Carrie Coon, and a profoundly uncomfortable one. The camera keeps pushing in tighter and tighter on each woman’s face, forcing us to understand just how boxed in they feel by their current circumstances. Erika now stuck living with and enabling the violent husband she was understandably planning to leave before Evie vanished, Nora sharing her life with a crazy man whom she literally has to restrain at night to keep him from running away from her, and also how angry they’ve become while staring at their doppelganger on the opposite couch. (As the scene goes along, the actresses eventually wind up just addressing the camera directly, not because we’re meant to see it as them talking to us, but them looking in the mirror.) When Nora calls Erika pathetic for believing herself to blame for Evie’s disappearance, she’s lashing out at a woman whom she feels has ruined her attempt to find a safe and stable haven in the world(**), but she’s mainly talking about herself, because it is still exactly what she’s feeling, all these years and miles later.”

  9. Not sure if this is on time but…


    Yay, my first feedback for The Leftovers because i am finally caught up. Two weekends ago I binged 12 episodes in two days and then caught up in time to watch this episode with y’all. Thank you so much for doing this podcast and hypnotizing me to watch this show.

    I don’t know if my future feedback for this show can ever get to the level of my Empire feedback. The shows are too different. The Leftovers has too many layers and much depth that I often need to marinate in the episode for a few days.

    So for now I’ll just say this-

    While Mr. Jennifer Aniston is all sexy in a sweaty dirty way and clearly he is a really great jogger, I must say that the women in this cast are simply outstanding. Carrie Coon was pure magic and the clear star last season. Jill, Laurie and Patti. All amazing. And now Regina King? The overabundance of female acting power on this show is sinful.

    Regina and Carrie’s 8 page scene together was just a master class. I honestly can’t stop watching that scene. I’ve watched it about 10 times already.

    With this show, half the time, I don’t know what I am watching or how I am supposed to feel, but I am a sucker for this journey. They have handcuffed me to the bed and I love it.

    Looking forward to the podcast and hearing your thoughts.

  10. I just want to say – I love that y’all get so detailed with your feedback. I am so pained when I write the recaps because I don’t want to pick the entire episode to pieces when I know the podcast is coming. I can always count on you to get thorough!

  11. Missed this for the podcast but during the Nora and Erika showdown Nora says that she has “evolved” That really stuck with me especially with the season opener with the cave woman. Do you all think that comment was poignant?

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